Black Friday is an American tradition and takes place the day after Thanksgiving which is the fourth Thursday in November. This year, it falls on Friday 27th November. It’s become the biggest shopping day of the year with retailers knocking their prices down across their stock to kick start the gift buying season. Last year, £810m was spent by British consumers online on purchases alone, that’s £9,375 every second. Sales this year are predicted to reach the £1billion mark(1), if this doesn’t motivate you to step up and take a piece of the pie, then we don’t know what will.
The kind of preparations that SMEs are taking for Black Friday 2015 are:
- Ordering more stock
- Employing more staff
- Arranging additional IT capacity
- Extending delivery terms
- Increasing shipping volume forecasts
- Finding new delivery providers
The top 5 UK hotspots are(3):
1 – Brighton
3 – Lincoln
4 – Norwich
Although traditionally celebrated by large retailers, it can seem like a tough time to compete when everywhere you look are large marketing campaigns. This doesn’t mean that SMEs should avoid this day but on the other hand take it as an opportunity to use it to their advantage. You have the advantage of a smaller infrastructure which allows you to quickly react to competitive changes in the marketplace and be more flexible and agile than larger competitors. More importantly, you’ll be able to deliver a much more personalised level of customer service to each and every one of your customers. You can use these to your strengths and position yourself above large retailers to leave a lasting impression.
A week after this is Small Business Saturday (5th December), a non-commercial campaign highlighting small business success and encouraging consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities. It’s the UK’s most successful small business campaign in its third year with 16.5million people shopping in a small independent business on the day last year; a 20 per cent increase from 2013. 55 per cent of local authorities and hundreds of MPs supported the campaign with 64 per cent of UK consumers being aware of the day. Last year the campaign trended at number one on Twitter all day and received around 3.5 million views on its Facebook page. Organisers this year hope it‘ll get even bigger(2).
They want all kinds of small businesses to get involved, from family businesses, local shops, online business, wholesales, business service to small manufacturers. You can register and advertise your business in the small business finder to feature on their website for free promoting your special offers or events. As well as being able to download a marketing pack or tell them about your plans on social media for them to share their audience of over 24,000 followers. The more awareness you can create, the better and this is a great opportunity to do this.
Some quick tips to set your small business apart are:
- Keep your shop or services open later
- Promote gift cards
- Get the word out with social media
- Provide extended support, guarantees or returns
- Bundle products with services
To see more of our tips on how to prepare your business for the festive season, click here.